About

Keeping Up with the Kardashians is a reality television show that first premiered on E! in 2007. It centers around the upper-class lives of the four Kardashian siblings, their mom and extended family. The show has been critiqued primarily for a “superficial focus” on famous people who “doing nothing but be famous”. In this clip, Kim Kardashian is set up by her sister and mother, who suspect she is addicted to shopping. They challenge her to come to the mall with them and not buy anything, and ultimately they catch her sneaking off to try on clothes. Although the show is shot to appear candid, it is unclear how much of the show and its storylines are staged.

Discussion

What aspects make following the lives of the Kardashians interesting to a television audience? What makes them popular?

How would you describe the Kardashians’ lifestyle? In what ways do you or don’t you relate to their lives?

In this clip, Kris compares being a shopaholic with being an alcoholic. What do you think of this statement?

Critique

There is a glancing camera shot identifying Bloomingdales as the store the Kardashians enter at the beginning of this clip. It is worth thinking about the extent to which this storyline was created for the purposes of sponsorship and product placement, and the impact of embedded corporate sponsorship in this – and many other – contemporary television programs.